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Charged €2,000 by Austrian Airlines for a missed connection - what can I do?

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Charged €2,000 by Austrian Airlines for a missed connection - what can I do?

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BerksTravellerBerksTraveller Forumite
8 posts
I was flying with my family London/Vienna/Larnaca on Austrian Airlines - arrived in Vienna and it was impossible to get through the airport in less than an hour due to congestion and having to clear security twice for some reason. I was forced to pay >€1,700 to continue the journey 24 hours later, find overnight accommodation in Vienna and lose the value of accommodation and car hire in Cyprus. I wrote to Austrian's CEO Jan Albrecht and his henchman say that because the flight from London was on time, its my fault. I offered to go to Vienna at my own expense and walk from the arrival gate to the departure gate so they could understand my point. They refused to meet me. I even suggested that if they didn't want to refund me I would be happy if they paid what they'd charged me to Nordoff Robbins Charity. They refused!!! What can I do? I want to sue now. Can anyone help?
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  • Caz3121Caz3121 Forumite
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    sounds like your issue is with the airport - Vienna airport advertises
    Transfer VIA VIENNA is quicker, easier and more convenient than at many other airports.
    The minimum connecting time of 25 minutes (for Star Alliance flights) is one of the shortest in Europe. Coordinated flight schedules, particularly to and from eastern and western Europe and for intercontinental flights, make for rapid transfer to any destination. The distances between your arrival and departure gates are short.

    You could try contact the airport and ask them to confirm in writing that there was something exceptional occurred at that time that caused you to miss your connecting flight. Otherwise the airline could assume that you either followed the wrong route (should you have had to clear security twice?) or were in the shops etc...

    From the airlines view, they sell a ticket with over an hour between flights, the minimum connection time is 25 minutes and the airport advertise how easy the process is but you failed to turn up at the gate in time for the flight.
    If you can get the airport to confirm the issue on the day you could then ask them or your travel insurance for reimbursement/compensation
  • Seems strange. Normally if you have a short time span you can go to the front of security queues, just by showing your boarding pass
    travelover
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    Did you have through tickets for the entire journey, or separate tickets for the London-Vienna and Vienna-Larnaca legs?

    Did your flight from London arrive on time?

    Did you need to buy new tickets to continue your journey to Larnaca?

    Did you request assistance in finding the departure gate for Larnaca, and in passing security on time?
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    Seems strange. Normally if you have a short time span you can go to the front of security queues, just by showing your boarding pass

    Not always. I missed a flight from Paris CDG when they refused this and made my wait my turn "like everyone else". I was running late because of long queues for previous security checks...
  • My understanding was the airline is responsible for getting us from London to Larnaca. Aircraft parked remotely, we were practically last off, we queued (in the snow!) to actually enter the terminal, which was because one had to go thru full security even though we'd just landed from London. That took 40 minutes from touchdown. We then ran thru the terminal following the signs and had to go thru security again to get to the departure gate by which time it was 4 mins before scheduled departure time. Flight was closed. Vienna Airport has ignored my letters and Austrian Airlines basically says 'tough - we were on time - your fault'. In fairness they offered me €1000 in travel vouchers since but that is less than half what it cost me. I am aggrieved because a/Its not my fault and cost me a lot, b/I lost 24 hours of my holiday and they did nothing to help and c/Why would Austrian Airlines advertise 25mins connection time? Because they can charge an extortionate amount of money when travellers don't make it and boost their revenues I guess!
    Who can help me?
  • edited 16 January 2014 at 12:52PM
    opinions4uopinions4u
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    edited 16 January 2014 at 12:52PM
    They sell the route on their web site as one fare, two flight numbers.

    I'd be interested to know the legal situation on this. I've had a similar issue with BA in Heathrow (security delays) and they just loaded us on to the next flight for no charge. That was an hour later though, so there were no other consequential losses in my case.

    On another occasion they met us off flight A and ushered us through passport control, immigration and security to make sure we met our scheduled connection on time.

    What is the breakdown of your costs?
  • I was advised that I'd lost the value of the ticket and would have to buy Vienna/Larnaca/Frankfurt/London again - € 1,717 for the 4 of us. I had to find accommodation as the next flight was 24 hours later - € 125, and then lost accomm and Car hire in Cyprus. Altogether about € 2,100. The itinerary was booked direct on the Lufthansa website. I can't seem to find any Lawyers that specialise in this and can tell me where I stand legally. Credit card company says its not their responsibility. I could understand it if I had been dawdling in shops but we didn't
  • Caz3121Caz3121 Forumite
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    unfortunately it is normally the case that if you miss a flight all the subsequent flights are cancelled but that is an awful situation in your case.
    What have your travel insurance said? do you have legal cover with it?
  • Thats an angle I haven't tried. Worth a go I guess. It all started when the heathrow/Vienna plane parked on a remote stand and they either couldn't get the front door open, or the stairs they brought out to the aircraft didn't fit. So we were practically last off and it went downhill from there. I've highlighted all of this to Austrian Airlines and they acknowledge - but still they won't budge and refund me. I'm also wrankled because every member of their ground staff was so incredibly dismissive. I asked about returning to London but they wanted € 1,600 for that. Imagine if I'd been a traveller without credit cards or much cash. Dreadful experience - I hope others avoid Austrian Airlines and Vienna airport as a result of this.
  • You could have a google of regulation EU261 and see if that throws anything out for you.

    But I think that only applies if the airline makes you late.
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